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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading other people's stories and semi-build threads I feel that it would be fun to create my own. You know, just formally introduce myself and give a little background while I'm at it. I'll be breaking this down in parts and updating over the course of a few days, and of course continue to update as long as I have my R.

I'm Stefan, currently a sophomore at the University of Missouri, and my family loves Volvo's (currently own 4). The first car I fell in love with was my dad's brand new 2002 2.4T S60, as a young kid I was amazed at the speed of the thing, and some of my best road trip memories are in that car.

When I turned 16 there was really only one car for me, an S60. At the time I wasn't aware that a T5 or even an R existed, so I opted for a really nice 2008 2.5T FWD S60 in willow green with a beige interior.



Over the course of time I found my way to Swedespeed, I began modifying by replacing my upper engine mount bushing with the square Elevate bushing. Next came a K&N filter and boost gauge, TCV, vac lines, lower mounts, etc. I then made the decision to go with a tune, I purchased a Rica tune, EST intake kit, and Viva CBV. The car was pretty quick at that point, I was able to easily outrun GTI's and V6 mustangs...but that was never enough. I purchased and installed the Snabb intake and OBX downpipe, a few weeks later I got an exhaust off of a friend's V70R and I was able to install that as well (looked ghetto, pics below):



At this point I was overboosting to 19psi (should have been around 16psi) so I upgraded to Rica's stage II tune to smooth out the boost curve. This car was quick at this point. I ended up doing a couple of pulls against a 2010 Camaro SS, needless to say I lost, but only by a few car lengths.

Here's just a random inside picture:


A shot of the engine bay:


I thought I was done with engine mods, but I just needed to push farther. I bought a 16T turbocharger off of a 2002 S60 T5 and rebuilt it, installed it a few weeks later and had Rica do a little tweaking to my rev limiter. After this point the car was screechingly fast for an automatic FWD Volvo, in fact here's a video for you of me going from 0-60 on a private road without a launch or wheelspin:


A month after I took this video I had to make the decision whether to pump more money into this thing (which I had fondly nicknamed "Vanessa" at this point) and make it faster...or do what I really wanted and buy an R.

Looking back, I still think I made the right choice, even though almost half of the money I make from my job goes to my R :D

Give me some time to get my pics together and I'll continue to update.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Was a good read! :) Awaiting more updates.
 

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Very cool, welcome to the R's!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now, my R ownership got off to a bit of a rocky start, maybe the Volvo gods were punishing me for getting rid of my first love...

I searched for weeks, and finally found an R that "would do", it was George's R :D. We went back and forth and the main thing preventing me from pulling the trigger was the distance I would have to travel to pick it up. I finally accepted that I would just have to have it shipped to me sight unseen (in person of course, there are plenty of picture of that beauty). The night before I sign the bill of sale I get a call from a friend of mine, he says he just saw an 04 down at our local Audi dealership that I have to check out. So I figure what the heck, I'll give it a shot, it's local and if I really like it and the price is right I'll consider it.

I pull up on the lot and immediately fall in love all over again. The sport kit looked great, interior was flawless, exterior had 2-3 minor imperfections, and the car drove great. The dealer was asking $15,500, which was too much even for an R with only just over 60,000 miles in perfect condition. On top of that the drivers side suspension was clunking over bumps, I knew it was bad spring seats since the top strut nut spun freely, but hey might as well play it up to lower the price right? After an hour of negotiating I got them down to $12,500 which was their absolute bottom line, they had other people driving hours down from Kansas City the next day to come look at it and business hours were almost done. I followed my gut and made a decision, I put $1,000 down and would pick it up after the weekend. I was happy...for the time being...

Here's a shot of her on the lot:


Tuesday comes (some Tuesday in early February), and I drive to the lot with my dad and pick the car up. While there it starts snowing lightly, but after the paperwork is all done my dad takes off, leaving me to drive the R the 30 minute trip back home...in the snow...by myself...having only driven stick once before...I must have stalled it 15 times on the way home, there were tons of uphill stoplights and I kept accidentally putting it into 3rd instead of 1st...but I eventually made it home, feeling like crap for barely being able to drive it, but hey I had an R now!

Here's a shot a few days after I picked her up:


It took me about a week to get used to it, but after a week of driving the R daily I finally got to the point where I wouldn't stall it and was decent at shifting. I didn't dare punch the gas since I was still getting used to driving stick, but the car just didn't feel nearly as fast as my old S60. I was disappointed at this point, but figured I could work on it a little to cheer myself up. I started by first installing a K&N filter, taking the top off the airbox, installing the IPD R boost gauge in my vent pod that I reused from my old S60, and replacing the spark plugs. I noticed that under WOT in 3rd gear I was only hitting 9psi of boost, I first assumed that the IPD gauge was wrong because some people have had issues with them, but my old Procomp boost gauge also read only 9psi in 3rd gear at WOT. I cleaned the MAF, replaced the TCV with a phuz unit, and replaced the vac lines. Boost came back to 12-13psi or so, but the needle never held solid and something must still have been wrong. I searched for boost leaks and finally found one coming from the IAT sensor...the screw holding it in place had backed out so it wasn't creating a seal, tightened that up and I was up to 14-15psi solid.

The car felt solid at this point, but not as fast as my old S60...so I ordered up the snabb intake and OBX downpipe to help fix that.

A friend helping with the downpipe install:


The downpipe fit kinda sloppily, I didn't have any fitment issues with the OBX downpipe on my FWD S60 so I was surprised. The gasket at the turbo didn't create a good seal and the flange at the catback was too close to the passenger side of the exhaust tunnel. I sealed the leak at the turbo by removing the gasket and torquing the nuts down really hard, the flange I would deal with later. The snabb intake was much harder to install on the R than it was on the 2.5T, the angle gear prevented me from accessing the turbo intake from underneath the car, and my hands were just not small enough to really reach down to position the pipe correctly. It took me about 4 hours to install the snabb pipe...3 hours longer than it took me to install my 2.5T's snabb pipe...

I noticed less turbo spool time and more top end power, but at this point I didn't have the funds to complete the exhaust system or continue modding.

Here's a shot with my friend's 05 S80 2.5T:


While the R wasn't faster than my old S60 at this point it was more fun to drive, I didn't have to worry about torque steer and the brakes were much better...maybe it was because I took the old car to the track one day and afterwards the rotors were glowing red...but I like to tell myself that it's just because of the brembo's :D

More to come
 

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While the R wasn't faster than my old S60 at this point it was more fun to drive, I didn't have to worry about torque steer and the brakes were much better...maybe it was because I took the old car to the track one day and afterwards the rotors were glowing red...but I like to tell myself that it's just because of the brembo's :D
An MT R isn't fast 0-60 unless you really abuse the clutch to get a good launch and it's by no means easy to do either. I've never done it on mine (don't care to). I learned stick on my S60 T5 (which really feels much the same as the R) and it is really hard to launch fast and smooth, I think that's the hardest thing to learn to do driving stick.
 

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Good story Stefan. It also took me some time to get used to the shifting in the R. The hardest part for me was getting into 5th but after some practice I can now glide through the gears. That body kit sure looks clean :)
 
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